Chiropractic or Physiotherapy – What’s your antidote to pain?

Taking a step closer to a pain-free life

Pain related problems are some of the most common reasons for visiting either a chiropractor or a physiotherapist. More often than not, it’s because of a preference for non-invasive treatments. But having said that, how do you decide which is better suited to your needs?

beautiful young woman has a pain in the neck

Eternal Eve spoke with the experts at Central City Health Professionals to get a better understanding of the two in order to help you make this decision. It is also important to note that this is a brief outline of a complicated subject matter and should not be a substitute for medical advice. The reader should consult proper medical experts in regards to health related matters.


Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on the alignment of the spine and its relationship with the central nervous system. A healthy spine ensures proper communication between the brain and the body. However some of the movement choices we make in our everyday lives can put pressure on this important mechanism, leading to pain related problems. According to Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr Sally McKerrow, “We move 24 hours a day and every time I see a patient, I’m looking at the consequences of his or her movement choices.”
She believes that by making the proper adjustments to the vertebrae and joints, a particular pressure can be removed, enabling the body to slowly heal itself of any disease that came as a result of that. An initial consultation with Dr McKerrow will involve her getting to know your health background and the reason as to why you’ve chosen to visit a chiropractor. Her task is to then diagnose the problem and recommend a course of treatment. One of the methods she might use is a classic chiropractic adjustment tool that performs a very fast and low impact thrust into the joint. This will wake up the nerves, which in turn will inform the brain of the postural problem.


The Australian Association of Physiotherapy states that physiotherapy is a profession that assesses, diagnoses, treats, and works to prevent disease and disability through physical means. A more common practice, physiotherapists can be found in all sectors of the healthcare, from public hospitals to private practices as well as rehabilitation centres. Specialising in movement and function, physiotherapists are able to recommend treatment for a wide range of conditions that are not just limited to the spine. “When people visit a physiotherapist, they’re looking for a return to function. I treat a lot of people who have pain that interferes with them not being able to do something they want to do. I treat a lot of office workers who suffer from pain in any part of their bodies. In addition to that, I also treat post surgery patients as well as those who are looking to reduce the symptoms of an injury or disease enough to not require them to go for surgery,” shares physiotherapist Merci Clifford. In addition to massage, physiotherapists have a wide range of techniques and approaches when it comes treating patients. These include dry needling, electrotherapy as well as acupuncture.


Which one should you choose? 
“Chiropractors and physiotherapists have a different perspective and we will both adopt different treatment protocols to treat pain. Lots of people respond well to physiotherapy and lots respond well to chiropractic,” says Dr McKerrow. In addition to treating pain, both physiotherapy and chiropractic also place an emphasis on long-term health. So yes, it’s more than just taking away the pain. Clifford shares that it’s all about bringing people into health and helping them lead their best lives. Meanwhile, Dr McKerrow adds, “At the end of the day, it is which you prefer. And until you try them both, you cannot compare them.” Regardless of your decision, rest assure that as oppose to just fixing you up and sending you on your way, both practices will thoroughly examine you and recommend a course of treatment tailored to your needs.


By Demie Tan


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